An American adventurer has won a grueling race against a British Army officer to become the first person to trek unaided across Antarctica.
Colin O’Brady, 33, arrived on the coast of the Ross Sea on Wednesday after trekking nearly 1000 miles across the frozen continent, beating Capt Lou Rudd by hours.
Crossing onto the Ross Ice Shelf at the point where Antarctica’s land mass ends, Mr O’Brady described feeling “delirious”.
“I accomplished my goal: to become the first person in history to traverse the continent of Antarctica coast to coast solo, unsupported and unaided,” he wrote in an Instagram post after covering the final 77.5 miles in 32 hours.
“While the last 32 hours were some of the most challenging hours of my life, they have quite honestly been some of the best moments I have ever experienced,” he wrote.
“I was locked in a deep flow state the entire time, equally focused on the end goal, while allowing my mind to recount the profound lessons of this journey. I’m delirious writing this as I haven’t slept yet.”
Mr O’Brady and Capt Rudd, 49, both set off from Union Glacier on November 3, setting up a contest that recalled the 1911 race for the pole between Norway’s Roald Amundsen and Britain’s Captain Scott.
Each man wore cross-country skis and pulled a sled, called a pulk, carrying 180 kilograms of provisions and equipment.